We had so much fun with this Christmas sensory bin. Making it was almost as much fun as playing with it! I had the kids help me dye the rice (we added some peppermint oil for a lovely candy cane scent) and then we went on a hunt to find Christmas items to add to our Christmas sensory bin. Involving them in the process of making it gave them ownership of the activity.
If your looking for Christmas sensory activities this is a good one.
Christmas Sensory Bin
We had some lovely Christmas themed Safari Ltd Toobs that I was really keen to use in our imaginary and sensory play and this was the basis of our bin. We then decided that we wanted to add some more Christmas items, and went and had a look in our Christmas decoration box. We added green and silver baubles (red would work too), and some paper Christmas cups for scooping. From our craft box we added sparkly pom poms and then the kids decided to add red and green duplo too. Because we’re Frozen obsessed in our house you’ll also find an Olaf an a snow monster or two floating around in there as well. The best part of this Christmas sensory bin is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money and you can use items you already have.
You’ll see we also have some Little People stalls in there too. This is from our Little People farm set, and when I put them in there I wasn’t sure how they would play with them, but they turned them into Christmas markets, sold colored rice and pom poms and even pretended they were an elf workshop. I love the power of imaginative play! Don’t be afraid to get creative with your Christmas sensory bin.
Material Required for a Christmas Sensory Bin
Please note that affiliate links may be used in this post. Please see our disclosure policy for more information.
- Large plastic container (I used a long shallow one like this one)
- Christmas Safari Ltd Toobs
- Christmas baubles
- Sparkly pom poms
- Christmas paper cups – you can find a variety here.
- Red & Green Duplo (optional)
- Little People accessories (optional)
- Frozen Olaf figurines (optional)
Items you likely have at home already:
- Rice – the amount will depend on the size of the container you use)
- Food Coloring – red and green
- White vinegar
- Zip lock bags x 2
- Peppermint essence (optional)
- Baking paper
How to color the rice for your Christmas sensory bin
A lot of people are hesitant to color rice, but its really simple.
- Place your rice into a ziplock bag (one bag for each color)
- Add a teaspoon of vinegar to each bag
- Add 2-3 drops of food coloring to each bag
- Add the peppermint essence (optional)
- Seal the bag tightly and shake until all of the rice is colored
- Place the colored rice onto sheets of baking paper and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours. I like to keep mine outside in the sun and it only takes about 30 minutes, but colder climates will take longer.
- Once it’s dry you can start playing with it! The colored rice will last for a really long time if you keep it in a sealed container.
How to make the Christmas sensory bin
- Add your colored rice to the bottom of the plastic container. I made mine separate colors, but I knew full well eventually they would all get mixed up!
- Add the sparkly pom poms
- Add the Christmas Safari Ltd Toob figurines
- Add the remainder of your decorations (baubles, figurines, duplo and other Christmas items)
Here is what our finished sensory bin looked like:
How my children played with the Christmas sensory bin
We played with our Christmas sensory box in so many ways including:
- Filling up the cups with pom poms
- Scooping the rice with the pom poms
- Making buildings with the Duplo
- Pretending the Little People stands were toy shops, elf stores and Christmas candy stores
- Pretend play with all of the figurines
- Rolling the baubles and ‘redecorating’
Looking for Christmas and winter themed activities? Then check here.
- 20 Favorite Christmas Board Books
- Elf on the shelf worksheets and activity pack
- Winter Preschool Count and Clip Cards
- Snowman Winter Fractions Clip Cards
- Snowman Winter Ten Frames
- Build a snowman craft
- Gingerbread Number Clip Cards
- Gingerbread Tracing Worksheets
- Easy Open Ended Art Snowman Painting Activity